Monday, November 9, 2009

Pumpkin Paradise

Since the holiday season is fast upon us, I figured it was time to start breakin' out the pumpkin. Nothing warms a cold, rainy day like the smells of the season floating through the house. Okay, maybe a warm fuzzy blanket and a good book, but whatever, that's in another life around here :-) This weekend I whipped up some Pumpkin Dream Bars because I was in the mood for something pumpkin mixed with cream cheese, but haven't yet braved cheesecake. Then for breakfast on Sunday, I decided to use some of the leftover pumpkin for Pumpkin Scones. Of course, I didn't have plain canned pumpkin, so I fudged the recipes a little and used pumpkin pie filling. I made some other minor alterations as well, as I often do, but they both turned out delicious anyway! And Grammy...your pumpkin bars have competition now!

Pumpkin Scones

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones Recipe #214051

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

Powderered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

Alterations: Instead of half & half, I used whole milk...that's always available in my kitchen. I used pumpkin pie filling instead of canned pumpkin and added a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't know why I chose those two, but they sounded good. As for the glaze, who needs two different ones? That takes too much time! I simply added cinnamon and nutmeg to the first glaze, brushed it on, and called it good!

After patting out the dough mixture, I used my wooden bamboo spatula from Pampered Chef, floured it, and cut the circle into 8 parts instead of 6. Hey, I have a big family!

I prepared my baking sheet with Buttered Flavored Crisco and placed the scones haphazardly on...just like most everything else that goes on in my kitchen!

Now, there were 8 scones to begin with, but only 5 made it to glazing...

Lesson learned: Get up earlier so breakfast is ready BEFORE the children and husband want to eat!!

Pumpkin Dream Bars
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 (16 oz.) can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 c. Karo light or dark corn syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add combined oats and flour; mix well. Spread evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly.
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add remaining ingredients; mix until smooth. Pour over partially cooled crust. Bake an additional 45 to 50 minutes or until center appears set. Cool completely on wire rack. Chill. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. 20 bars. Very good!

Alterations: I only had 1 package of cream cheese so I halved the topping recipe but used the entire crust portion. I mean, really, what's the best part anyway, right?? I also used a bit smaller pan so the pumpkin filling wasn't too thin. Instead of canned pumpkin I used pumpkin pie filling and I added a little bit more cinnamon and some nutmeg!

Lesson learned: Add a little cream cheese and a buttery crust, even a 6 year old will like pumpkin!

Next on the pumpkin list?? I may try to replicate some pumpkin fritters that Tim and Molly absolutely loved from a restaurant we visited last week!

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